When something catches on in the United States, it doesn’t take long for it to make its way to Mexico, and that is precisely what is happening with woke racism, which has become the new import of the Mexican left to encourage conflict and resentment against exploitative whites.
Below the Rio Bravo, this new emphasis on racism as a political banner has coalesced around the concept of “whitexican,” a discriminatory slur that emerged on Twitter a couple of years ago and conveys the idea that whites are traitors to Mexico, sycophants of the foreign, lazy, fatuous, dumb and unfairly privileged.
In mid-June, the debate regarding whitexican and alleged white privilege returned to the forefront of the debate following a controversial tweet by academic influencer Viridiana Rios, which echoes an Oxfam Mexico report published in 2019 under the title: “Por mi raza hablará la desigualdad” (Because of my race, inequality will speak) feeding the narrative that race is the great differentiator that defines the prosperity or poverty of Mexicans. It is both a vile and false argument.
The lie of racism, exposed in its own data.
If we go beyond the rhetoric, the same data from the Oxfam report, which Ríos and other influencers have used as a war drum to bring the narrative of systemic racism to Mexico, show us a much more nuanced picture of the link between race and wealth. Let’s analyze below:
Looking at “Ethnic-Racial Characteristics” (page 29), the report notes that 12% of respondents self-classify themselves as having a “light” skin tone. Further on (page 53) the report indicates that 27.4 % of those with light skin are in the wealthiest quintile nationally, while practically 3 out of 4 “light-whites” are in the poorest quintiles
This means that, if Mexico were a country with 100 inhabitants, 12 of them would be “claros” (light-skinned). 9 of those 12 would be in various levels of poverty or middle class and only the remaining 3 would be in the block of the 20 richest inhabitants, whose other 17 members are “dark” or “dark”. Ergo: The overwhelming majority of Mexico’s richest quintile is made up of non-whites. And for the record, that’s Oxfam’s own data.
So, if approximately 80% (17 out of 20 members) of Mexico’s wealthiest quintile are non-white, while 3 out of 4 whites do not live as rich, it is clear that race is not a generalized passport to wealth.
Now, it is true that in some cases skin color may be a more or less important factor, but there are other factors determining the success or failure of each person, because as we have previously pointed out, in real life the level of “privilege” or “oppression” not only changes from person to person, but also from moment to moment, so: not all white people are equally privileged, nor will they always be so to the same extent.
It’s not race. It’s relations.
Particularly in the case of Mexico, the great differentiator of a standard of living is not inscribed in the skin, but in relationships (or networking). Those who have “godparents”, contacts, levers and connections, are the ones who will have more possibilities to prosper, regardless of the color of their skin: the case of Viridiana Ríos is evidence of this phenomenon.
Ríos is not white and was not born in a golden cradle. Therefore, according to her own rhetoric (which seeks to determine everything based on race and place of birth) she would have been condemned to remain in poverty regardless of her efforts. And yet, this was not the case. Somehow, surely thanks to her academic performance, she managed to study at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), one of the most prestigious universities in the country, famous for the many doors it opens to its students.
Since her admission to ITAM, Ríos has lived the life of privilege that in Mexico (it’s worth reaffirming) is not provided by race or gender, but by connections. Relationships that got her a scholarship to study for a doctorate at Harvard and opened the doors to work, for example, with institutions linked to the right-wing National Action Party, the business elite and the Mexican political class, including the Rafael Preciado Foundation, the NGO “Mexico, How are we doing?”, the Coparmex (Mexico’s central employers’ association) and the government.
This story is repeated by thousands: friends, lovers, compadres, cousins, nephews, nieces and nephews who mutually open the doors to the spaces of power, in a dance of privileges that the PRI system institutionalized and now AMLO’s government has taken to the point of ridicule, placing a dozen of his personal assistants (those who carry his briefcase or bring him the water bottle) in high-level positions within the federal government, including Pemex and the SAT (Mexico’s equivalent of the IRS).
All these “success stories” do not rise because of their skin color, their gender or their pretty face, and even less because of their talent. They succeed because they are close to the boss (in this case the president) who presumes them as “young people for the generational replacement”. That is how the game is played in Mexico.
“Whitexican” and the meaninglessness of hate.
Therefore, “whitexican” is more than an insult, is a lie that pretends to import to Mexico a narrative of systemic racism and immoral white privilege, which in the American environment does not hold up, and in the Mexican environment, is just nonsense.
This absurdity hides the same face of hatred, resentment and political manipulation that drives the “Critical Race Theory” movement in America, driven by the truly privileged in the ivory towers of academia or the industrialized media, who victimize themselves, looking to take even more advantage.